Rolex Day-Date 1803 'Arabic Guilloché'

Museum Piece
Rolex Day-Dates produced for the Arab market are some of the most unusual and coveted ones you can find.

Rolex Day-Dates produced for the Arab market are some of the most unusual and coveted ones you can find. Among these, those with Eastern Arabic numerals on the dial are the most illusive. Combine that with a charming textured dial and extremely rare bracelet and you’ve found yourself the stuff of collectors' dreams.

This exceptional 1803 from 1961 is truly one of the most desirable Day-Dates ever made. What makes it so special? Well, the combination of a flawless textured dial—made using the age-old guilloché technique—together with the applied 18k rose gold Arabic indices and matching Arabic day and date discs.

Arabic numerals are rare by themselves, but the combination with the engraved dial can only be found on a handful of examples previously made for the Middle-Eastern market. A few of these have traded hands in different auctions in recent years. What sets this particular example apart from those sold at auction is its pairing with an exceptionally rare 18k rose gold flat-link bracelet with its own engraved pattern.

This stunning piece is in wonderful condition, especially considering its age with a flawless dial with charming cigarette hands. The 18k rose gold case is sharp and features thick lugs, while the rare bracelet is remarkably tight.

Rolex Day-DateIn 1956, Rolex introduced one the most iconic watches ever made: the Day-Date. The Day-Date was the first waterproof self-winding chronometer certified wristwatch with a day and date function. And to top it off, it was only available in gold or platinum! Rolex also designed a new three-link bracelet, known as the ‘President,’ to pair with this special watch. With the exception of the most modern executions, the Day-Date comes exclusively in a 36mm case.Ref. 18xxA new era dawned for the Day-Date when the earliest references (65xx & 66xx) were replaced by the 18xx series in 1959, which contained the cal. 1555 and later the cal. 1556 movement.The 18xx Day-Date was produced with a wide variety of dial colors and configurations. Characteristic for this era is the so-called ‘Pie-Pan’ dial that looks like an upside-down pie-pan (a concentric ring that slopes down from the flat center).